On 14 September 2020 the EU and China signed a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GIs) in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the European Union against usurpation and imitation.
From the EU side this agreement is considered to be an important step to protect the European GI products which are renowned for their quality and diversity, products such as the iconic Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego.
At the same time the agreement contributes to strengthening the trade relationship with China, with regard to the agri-food sector.
In 2019, China was the third destination for EU agri-food products, reaching €14.5 billion. It is also the second destination of EU exports of products protected as Geographical Indications, accounting for 9% by value, including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks.
Among the Chinese GI products, the list includes for example Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).
In Portugal the agreement with China was considered “historic and comprehensive” by the President of the Douro and Port Wine Institute. From now on the GIs Douro, Porto, Port e Oporto, are among those protected in the Chinese market which means that only wines with the Douro and Porto designations that comply with their certification and control requirements may be marketed on the Chinese market.
Following the signature of the agreement and the European Parliament consent, it will officially be adopted by the Council. The agreement is expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2021.